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UK retail sales hold up in June but economists downbeat

Staff writer |
A gauge of UK retail sales was stronger than expected in June, although the data in the run-up to the EU referendum and were generally downbeat regarding the immediate outlook for consumption.

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The Confederation of British Industry's reported sales index slipped from +7 in May to +4 in June. Nevertheless, that was better than the reading of -5 which retailers themselves had predicted.

Firms in the sector projected a recovery to +10 in July, although orders were seen continuing their fall, albeit at a slightly slower pace.

"Retail sales reported weak growth in the year to June, beating expectations of a modest fall and lifting sales slightly above average for the time of year," the business lobby said in a statement.

Grocers reported a rebound in reported sales in the year to June, alongside robust growth in hardware, DIY and non-store sales. Yet growth slowed in the fashion sector and sales dropped in a number of other sectors, CBI said.